Waterfront Living may be getting cheaper
Climate Fears Reshape Miami’s Housing Market
Properties on the coast now trade at discounts as flood waters and ‘king tides’ damp enthusiasm for oceanfront living
MIAMI—Concerns over climate change are beginning to reshape one of the country’s largest housing markets, with properties closer to sea level now trading at discounts to those at higher elevations.
Research published Friday in the Journal of Environmental Research Letters shows that single-family homes in Miami-Dade County are rising in value more slowly near sea level than at higher elevations, as buyers weigh the possibilities of more-frequent minor flooding in the short term and the challenge of reselling properties that decades from now could be permanently submerged.
Jesse Keenan, a real-estate professor at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and author of the paper, said he was initially surprised to see ordinary homeowners already seeming to factor future sea-level rise into their calculations.
Home values in parts of Miami are being influenced by properties' elevation above sea level.
Low-elevation properties are becoming Miami’s laggards, he said. “To see them really separate is pretty shocking, because you can infer that this is a pricing signal from climate change.”
Miami is a testing ground for the vulnerability of housing markets in other coastal cities, such as New York and Boston, because its elevation is as little as one foot above sea level and its porous limestone makes it especially vulnerable to rising sea levels.
Another new paper, from researchers at the University of Colorado at Boulder and Pennsylvania State University, shows that the trend in Miami is playing out across the country, with homes that are vulnerable to rising sea levels now selling at a 7% discount compared with similar but less-exposed properties. The paper, which is under peer review, shows that the size of the coastal discount has grown over time.